April is synonymous with the beginning of the golfing calendar for many reasons; club memberships are renewed, the US Masters is only days away, a variety of golf days are no doubt cropping up on the calendar and of course, spring has arrived.
My season enviably starts at PGA Catalunya Resort’s Stadium Course. It will undoubtedly be the finest course I’ve had the pleasure of playing and even my non-golfing friends are green with envy. I’m eager to get out on the course and experience the perfectly crafted Catalonian fairways, true-rolling greens and strategic water hazards.
However, I can’t help feeling that my golf may not be quite up to scratch when playing on the El Numero Uno de España.
I can accept that I probably won’t be setting the course record (ever the optimist), but I want to make the most of the opportunity of playing such an exceptional course and I would be disappointed in myself if I wasn’t ‘match-fit’ for the occasion.
In preparation therefore, my first port-of-call will be the driving range and practice area – handy then, that PGA Catalunya Resort boasts some of the finest facilities in the world.
Winner of the 2012 Q-School, David Dixon, described the amenities as “tremendous”, adding: “The driving range is excellent and the short game practice area is as good, if not better, than any other venue on The European Tour.”
The driving range has been upgraded, and now offers a new private tee for groups, target greens, bunkers and distance markers. The new 2,000 square-metre putting and chipping area features four greens with different grasses – Bermuda, Bent, Paspalum and Poa – mimicking the pace and cut of famous greens from all over the world.
Completing the ‘round-the-world’ experience, the surrounding five bunkers each contain different types of sand (Augusta, St. Andrews, Hawaii volcanic, PGA Catalunya Stadium Course and Pebble Beach).
Supposedly, ‘practice makes perfect’. I’m not sure I will achieve perfection on the Stadium Course, but a visit to this practice ground will certainly give me an opportunity to iron out the kinks that have crept into my game over winter, reinforcing old skills learnt in the past and building confidence before stepping onto the first tee.
Gary Player probably worded it best when he commented, “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.” I suspect it took more than a spot of luck to win nine majors and become the most successful non-American golfer of all time, but you can see what he’s getting at, and we could all do with some luck out on the course – especially when tackling Spain’s Number 1!
By guest writer Nick Nixon, PR Executive, Landmark Media